[From the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. xx. p. 317.]
ON THE TOTAL INTENSITY OF INTERFERING LIGHT. (Extracted from a letter addressed to Professor Kelland.)
[Communicated January 5, 1852. (Proceedings R. S. E., Vol. in. p. 98.)]
PEMBROKE COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
MY DEAR SIR,
* * * *
In reading your paper in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. xv., p. 315, some years ago, it occurred to me to try whether it would not be possible to give a general demonstration of the theorem, applying to apertures of all forms. I arrived at a proof, which I wrote out, but have never published. As I think it will interest you I will communicate it. You may make any use you please of it.
CASE I. Aperture in front of a lens; light thrown on a screen at the focus, or received through an eye-piece, through which the luminous point is seen in focus.
The expression for the intensity is given in Airy's Tract, Prop. 20. If the intensity of the incident light at the distance of the aperture be taken for unity, and D be the quantity by which any element of the area of the aperture must be divided in forming the expression for the vibration, that expression becomes